When the Grateful Dead convened on December 7, 1995, four months after bandleader and guitarist Jerry Garcia’s death, the remaining “core four” members decided to bring their collaboration to a close. Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann had their publicist draft a press releasing announcing the end of the band. But as we know, the story didn’t end there.

In the months and years to follow, they each embarked on new music and business ventures: Weir toured his band RatDog; Hart created the ambitious album Mystery Box; and Lesh fronted a rotating cast of musicians in the group Phil and Friends. But tension persisted – Lesh in particular became increasingly absent from Grateful Dead business meetings – as the core four struggled with defining their legacy.

Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip is a behind-the-scenes account of the band’s clashes in the boardroom and on the road to their reunion tour. This story of their fragile reconciliation is one of the last unexplored corners of the Grateful Dead’s decades-long history. As Paul Liberatore recently wrote in the Marin Independent Journal, the book is “an unblinking and balanced look at the infighting, backbiting, rancor and resentments among the surviving ‘core four’ band members.”

The shows in Santa Clara and Chicago in 2015 were anything but the end of an era—the era had ended twenty years before. They were more specifically the end of the Grateful Dead as imagined by Jerry Garcia. They had finished what they started fifty years before.

Joel Selvin is an award-winning journalist who covered pop music for the San Francisco Chronicle. He has written more than a dozen books, including the bestselling Summer of Love, and co-authored, with Sammy Hagar, the #1 New York Times bestseller Red. Selvin lives in San Francisco.

“An enthusiastic but clear-eyed and enjoyably gossipy piece of modern rock history.”Publishers Weekly

“Most [Grateful Dead] books end with the 1995 death of Jerry Garcia. Fare Thee Well…takes the opposite approach… [it] examines every sad twist, turn and betrayal involved in the Dead’s various offshoot groups leading up to their 2015 Fare Thee Well reunion.”Rolling Stone

The book is available here.

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